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Visit downtown Cape for First Friday with the Arts

This post is written by Murielle Gaither, Director of the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri.

Whether you have been in town for weeks or years, chances are you've heard of First Friday with the Arts. This iconic event was started in 2003 when the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri moved to their current Main Street location, deep in the heart of Old Town Cape. Every First Friday of the month, local galleries host a First Friday Art Walk. During this time, each gallery stays open for later hours (5 to 9 p.m.), and many provide light appetizers or beverages for visitors to enjoy while perusing the artwork. Some galleries, like the Arts Council, feature new artists or displays each month. Others change their displays every other month, or as often as they are able to. Many galleries even feature live music or performances to coincide with their First Friday opening!

With this event, arts folks hoped to encourage Southeast Missouri residents to visit downtown each First Friday, enjoy regional arts, and engage with the artists featured in the galleries. Now, ten years later, the event has grown to include each of the twelve galleries throughout Cape Girardeau, and visitors from as far north as Ste. Genevieve, and south as Sikeston and Charleston, regularly visit for good wine and great art.

Given the popularity of the event for arts folks, other downtown businesses take advantage of the extra foot traffic, and stay open for later hours as well. Stores like Annie Laurie's Antiques and Stash regularly open their doors to First Friday visitors, and some even offer fun promotions or events specifically for First Friday. These events change every month so if you're interested in knowing who is doing what, you'll have to check out the monthly schedule!

A great way to keep in the know is to sign up for the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri newsletter on our homepage. This newsletter is sent out weekly and informs readers about cultural and arts-related events in the region, including a full rundown of First Friday happenings. For a complete listing of the galleries that participate in First Friday with the Arts, stop by the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri for a brochure, or visit this link. Did you miss First Friday? No problem! The Arts Council of Southeast Missouri Gallery is normally open Tuesday thru Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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